I appear to be having a bit of a Tom Hanks moment right now. I reviewed Sully the other week, A Beautiful Day in the NeighborhoodA Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood on Tuesday, and Splash on Thursday. I decided that I might as well embrace it by picking my favourite Tom Hanks films. Though, I quickly realised that I’ve not watched a great deal of them and, of those that I have watched, I don’t like many. I think Saving Private Ryan is just messy even though Hanks gives a great performance. I think Big is creepy. Forrest Gump isn’t as good as everyone says that it is. As a person who gets bored by romantic comedies, I can only just appreciate his films with Meg Ryan. So, I really started to worry that I didn’t really have any favourite Tom Hanks films. But I have no other ideas for today’s post so what the hell. There are a few that I’ve missed off not because, though they are good films, I didn’t quite enjoy them as much. This isn’t just about quality. We can’t only love Oscar-worthy films, you know.
Do you ever get a craving to watch a film? I’m not sure why but this week I’ve been desperate to watch Splash. I think it’s because I’ve been listening to old episodes of the Ricky Gervais XFM podcast. I think it was mentioned in one of the earlier episodes when Karl was talking about Mermaids. It’s been years since I watched this film and, because I reviewed Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood on Tuesday, I decided it was the perfect time to watch it. I’m a fan of Tom Hanks but I don’t like many of his films. We all know what I think about Big. So many people think Forrest Gump is a masterpiece but I hate it. His romantic-comedies with Meg Ryan? Forgettable. The Polar Express? It still gives me nightmares. The Terminal? Not even worth mentioning. I think it’s fair to say that, between all of his great roles, he’s made some dodgy choices. Was Splash going to be as wonderful as I remember it being or was I just a stupid kid who still liked mermaids?
As far as I’m aware, Mr Rogers was never a thing in the UK. I’ve heard of him but only thanks to references in American TV and movies. This lack of awareness would normally have caused me to miss a film like A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. It is based solely on the proposition that Fred Rogers is one of the greatest things to ever happen to children. I’m sure he probably is but films like this tend to rely on a certain nostalgic sentimentality that I just don’t have. It wouldn’t hit on all of the levels that the filmmakers intended. But, thanks to Tom Hanks being Tom Hanks, it was an Oscar-nominated film that I had to try and watch before the ceremony.
Do you think anyone out there hates Tom Hanks? Yes, he’s done some dodgy films over the years but he seems like a nice guy. And he bloody loves acting. But I guess his reputation probably has a few negatives. He’s never really going to get the chance to play a villain. Okay, he’d probably be happy with that but he must have severely limited the range of roles he’s offered. The only time he’s even veered toward villainy and it’s not really gone off. Nobody even saw The Circle and Road to Perdition was more complicated than good or bad. Tom Hanks trying to play a bad guy would be as disconcerting as seeing a film where Christopher Lee played a moral upstanding gentleman. It’s why he was the perfect choice to play Mr Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (review coming soon) and why he was the perfect choice to play Sully, the pilot responsible for the Miracle on the Hudson.
It’s been 24 years since the first Toy Story film hit cinema screens. I’m not sure if we saw it in a cinema but we definitely had a copy of it on VHS. My sisters and I all loved it. We must have seen the second film in the cinema because we didn’t own a copy of that. And Toy Story 3 came out when I was at university. It was a house outing because all of us had fond memories of the series. Fond memories that were completely manipulated by the story of aging and leaving your childhood behind. That’s exactly what a 22-year-old needed. It’s been 9 years since Pixar left us utterly broken at the scene where Andy waves goodbye to his childhood toys and gives them to the next generation. It was the perfect end to the series. Or so we thought. There wasn’t any need for it but, god, we were excited to see the gang again. There’s something about the combination of Tom Hanks’ voice and Pixar’s unbeatable animation that just makes you feel at home.
At work today, a friend and I were trying to come up with our fantasy dinner party guest list. You know, where you pick 5 people living or dead to attend your perfect party. Looking for inspiration I did the only thing someone in this day and age can: I Googled it. I was shocked to find one person picking Tom Hanks for her top 5. Tom Hanks? Out of all of the people of the past or present they’d pick Tom Hanks. But, I guess, he’s Hollywood’s Mr Nice Guy. He’s for sure one of the most charming actors around. And I don’t think I can imagine a more charming pairing than Tom Hanks and Sally Field. Sally Field is so fucking adorable that together I guess you’re just gonna be constantly smacked around the face with charm. It’s like that Black Books episode about the travel writer. One of the quotes suggesting the reader was “swept away on a wave of charm”. And, knowing very little about Punchline, that’s exactly how I felt going in to today’s TBT film. I couldn’t imagine this film being so bad that I ended up not still loving the two leads.